Stop complaining

One of the great sins of Americans is our constant complaining about everything: our jobs, spouses, children, the weather, politicians, the economy…ad nauseam.

I know someone on welfare that complained he was not getting enough money to keep pace with inflation costs.  I’m not kidding.  If inflation rises by 3% a year, he expects the government to increase his checks by 3% a year.  Otherwise, he starts to fall behind and feels he is getting “cheated.”

A friend once wisely said, “America is the only place in the world with fat poor people.”  How many morbidly obese people do you know that have not done a sliver of work in years, but nonetheless eat like kings and queens?  And then they complain because they can’t afford a new cell phone, or get the AC fixed in their car, etc.

Several years ago, I was asked: “What was one of the greatest sins that the children of Israel were guilty of as they wandered in the desert for forty years?”  It took me several moments before I correctly answered, “Grumbling and complaining.”

People naturally complain and grumble about virtually anything, often for no good reason.  It seems like those who have an abundance usually complain the most, and I believe this is one of the greatest evils of America:  complaining and grumbling when we are literally drowning in blessings every day of our existence.

I’m guilty of this myself, but over the years I have tried my best to break out of this dreadful habit.  For example, walking through the bountiful aisles of the local Sam’s Club near where I live, I try to thank God for the abundance of what He has given me here in America.  Warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco that one can find food and other stuff in abundance should cause each of us to offer up a prayer of thanksgiving every time we walk through their doors.

But in reality, none of us do; we take for granted all the blessings that we have in this country and never fully appreciate how obscenely wealthy each of us are who are blessed to live in America.

During “Operation Protective Edge,” Israel bombed parts of the electric grids suppling electricity in Gaza.  That part of the world is hot and humid, and without electricity, life must be a living hell, with no power to run AC units, refrigerators, pumps for fresh water and sewage disposal, etc.

Speaking of sewage disposal, how many people reading this blog would like to earn five dollars a day wading through other people’s urine and feces?  For a twelve hour work day?  Not something that appeals to you?  I don’t blame you.

But in India, almost a million people do exactly this in order to eat.  Here is some eye-opening and gut-wrenching words from the article:

“Dharamani Kale emerged from the manhole, sewage clinging to his body. Next to him, Sona Bai gathered filth in a small round basket and carried it on her head to the end of the street. The unpleasant process had started at dawn and would continue for at least 12 hours.

This is how sewers are cleaned in most Indian cities, including Mumbai, the nation’s booming financial capital: Workers use metal scrapers, brooms or their bare hands to clear drainage and sanitation lines twice a year, before and after the annual monsoon rains.”

Sewage cleaner india

The poor soul in the picture above is standing almost waist deep in human sewage.  Please understand what this means:  he is standing in a densely populated city’s toilet bowl after the residents have done their daily business.  Literally, his skin is in contact with human urine and fecal matter:  a  giant, unclean cesspool of disease and filth.  Imagine the overwhelming and nauseating stench this man is breathing as this photo was taken.

This numbs the senses because we simply cannot imagine that anybody would be reduced to such a degrading job.  It is so far beyond the pale of our easy existence here in America that not a soul can comprehend the desperation of anyone who would feel the necessity of taking on such a horrific job.  We rightfully ask ourselves, “Who would do something like this?  Such a job should not even exist.”

This is the true face of poverty and not the phony caricature of poverty that we have in America.  Here, if a person does not own a cell phone and have access to cable, he is considered poor and in need of government assistance…all on the taxpayer’s dime, of course.

What might God’s attitude be toward Americans, who lack nothing but complain about everything?  I think it would do all of us an immeasurable amount of good if we went to India and joined some of these sewage cleaners in their cesspools for a month.  I don’t think any of us would complain about our lots in life again.


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